Any Major Dude Will Tell You


“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”  ~ Lord Byron

“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.” ~ Albert Camus

There is an urge . . . ummmm, that ain’t happening. What I mean is I’d love to be out on the mesa watching the storm roll in, while haunted by the powder keg of a nation we live in. It’s not a metaphorical storm. I’m talkin’ the real deal. Rain maybe snow here in the valley, up to a foot of snow up on the high peaks. Alright Drought, get offa my lawn! Ahem. As I was saying . . . the urge thing . . . to sit in a rocker, a tiny nugget of Indica in the corncob pipe . . . feel the deep-flowing currents of our spiritual nature . . . this stuff runs deep . . .  way deep. And unlike the surface, where the bellowing wind can stir the waters to froth and frenzy, the deeper stuff runs cool, and calm, and silent. No, scratch that. Not silent. It’s the friggin ocean. There’s a lot going on in there. As for our deeper spiritual nature, I am thinking of our state of consciousness. For several months now I have been thinking of the “Jump Time”, that point where the level of consciousness of the whole world makes a quantum leap and we all end up better people. Way better. The leap is exponential. Nothing will ever be the same. I believe it will happen, but not in my lifetime. From where I sit at this point and place in time I choose to view the truly horrendous things happening in America as potential birth pangs. Now, I could get going and take off on this theme, but the topic is more suited to a piece written out over days, not in a few minutes before I gotta git my assets down into Taos to go to work; thought out and fed patience. Maybe some other time, right? Right. Personally speaking, I am going through a “jump outta your skin” phase with the anxiety. But the benefit of this physiological and psychological cycle is that it drives me deeper into that calm place. It took me years to learn then hone the skill to grow beyond, for whatever time necessary, the pain and buzz of critical anxiety. The thing is I can’t hold that state of mind beyond the needed time period. I can’t be held, by me, by anyone. It’s the old grabbing a fistful of water thing. You do the math. It’s the Tao, the Watercourse Way. Flow dude, like all gnarly and stuff. Clinical anxiety, the chronic stuff, is a serious thunderstorm. While it is raging you may also feel that at any given moment the demon is at your door. Just remember, in the morning it won’t be there no more. Any major dude will tell you. And on that note I simply must be going. Workday ahead. There I go.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Through the Haunted House


“The existentialists did say that life was all about pulling the victory of meaning from the jaws of senseless absurdity”  ~  Matthew Mather

“I look at the world and I see absurdity all around me. People do strange things constantly, to the point that, for the most part, we manage not to see it.” ~ David Lynch

“I am standing puzzled, unable to decide whether the veil is really being lifted, or lowered more firmly in place; whether I am witnessing a revelation or a more efficient blinding.” ~ Ralph Ellison

“As to your Newton, I confess I do not understand his void and his gravity; I admit he has demonstrated the movement of the heavenly bodies with more exactitude than his forerunners; but you will admit it is an absurdity to maintain the existence of Nothing.” ~ Frederick the Great, [Letter to Voltaire, 25 Nov. 1777]

There is no telling why my mind is on absurdity this morning. I do, however, know what triggered it: reading about the Right Wing absurdity of the dreaded caravan from Central America. Triggers are only a snappy way of flinging you into Shadow. What you find there is a different story. Then it becomes a question of just what you are going to do with what y’all found. Some walk on right away. Some tend to gnaw on it. This morning I’m just seein’ . . . whatever. It’s been a difficult week. The prime difficulty has been a physical, belly of the beast kinda thing. Yeh, just remember that we have neurons in our colon. Think about that. Yet we have them in our heart as well. Now, all of the lesser difficulties are intimately and intricately entangled with the belly beastie thing, which is ultimately the prime expression of the field effect that addresses a specific portion of Shadow, a portion that is like all about anxiety dude. Boy howdy it is getting too hard to suppress it anymore, so coping skills are kicking into gear. Deeper issues expressed through the gut. Make this into a metaphor at your own peril. I just like to remember that ya jest gotta get out the same way you got in. That does not mean backtracking. The way you got in was by following a natural cycle, natural current, that will carry you on through to the other side . . . it’s like riding through the Haunted House at Disney World. Wait, what?! No, it’s not. Or is it? Yeh, it is.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

What it Seems It Is

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“Clocks slay time … time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” ~ William Faulkner

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” ~ Alan Watts

“It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“Time moves in one direction, memory another. We are that strange species that constructs artifacts intended to counter the natural flow of forgetting.” ~ William Gibson

As per usual I spent about ten minutes out on the side, where I could see the sunrise behind the big mountains. It’s quite a sight! Recently I’ve thought often that if not for the persistent and often breathtaking natural beauty here I’d move away from Taos for good. The things that were holding me here have all passed, six or more years ago. Anyway, as I was walking back to my room, eyes full of silver-blue and tangerine, I heard a weird sound; loud, and somehow too big. My brain first interpreted the sound as being a ginormous hinged wooden door that needed a shot of 3-In-1 Oil. That’s machine oil, for you who might have gotten over the 20th Century. I’ve been watching “The Haunting of Hill House” on Netflix; I’m up to episode five. Awesome it is. I mean that in the literal sense, BTW. They rely much more on the psychological currents, and how the traumas from the haunting play out into the future. So, anyway, when I heard what sounded like a creaky door I stopped, feeling quite puzzled. That door had to be really really big to make a sound like that, and of that volume! My brain wanted only more coffee, so the puzzle was unwelcome, and I was like all enough with the Columbo mystery shit dude. I need more coffee so don’t even try it. The sound continued and morphed finally, as seconds passed. That’s when the neighbors’ braying began. They don’t do it frequently, but it always makes me laugh out loud. It was the friggin donkeys, or maybe even the mule as well. Mystery solved. I used to love sitting in the afternoon watching old reruns of “Columbo” with mom. We’d sip coffee, smoke cigarettes, and for some reason we also both laughed at inappropriate times. Which reminds me how I loved to watch “The X-Files” with her, then when the late-night news came on we were in such a metaphysical headspace we’d laugh at most everything on the evening news for all of it’s surreality. Whatever. Today is an mandatory laundry day, which takes some of the fun out. Hmmph. It is what it is, right? I mean come on now. Just because it is what it is doesn’t mean it ain’t what it seems it is. Ya know what I mean? Yeh, I thought so.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Love and Nurture


“We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.” ~ Robert Pirsig

“Anxiety, the next gumption trap, is sort of the opposite of ego. You’re so sure you’ll do everything wrong you’re afraid to do anything at all. Often this, rather than “laziness” is the real reason you find it hard to get started”  Robert Pirsig

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.” ~ Richard Feynman

Other than the ringing in the ears being loud it’s a quiet morning. What is it with ringing ears, anyway? When I leave home the ringing leaves my awareness because there is a lot of noise in town and on the road. Does the ringing stop during those hours when I am at work, or getting to and from work safely? Just sayin’. There ain’t no way to know that. And . . . oh, never mind. It’s kinda sorta hard to totally resist mentioning the terrorist attack throughout this week, all on American soil (a good bath would take care of that), by an American citizen. And he loves his “Daddy” and his Daddy’s on TV and stuff. Now, let me back right out of that Carl Hiaasen-like snark, even before I begin. I love Carl, especially his first 4-5 books. His first novel, “Tourist Season”, I consider to be a masterpiece on many levels. But bear in mind that I became a Hiaasen fan reading his periodic columns in the Miami Herald. Usually I was reading it about 4 AM. It was always such a soothing thing to awake at 3 AM, daily, put on a pot of coffee, then hop on my bicycle and head out into the tropical darkness to purchase a newspaper from a box. One night I got pulled over by a County cop. As I stood there, astride my trusty steed, bathed in the headlights from his cruiser, he got our of the vehicle and stepped up to me. “What are you doing out at this hour?”. See, I was still in the cusp of the near-fatal head trauma; awash with love and light within. Outside? Life went on. So, anyway, I was still pretty loopy and looking for an anchor, nearly delirious all the while. But cheerful. So when the cop asked me the question I smiled at him and replied “I live here”. It seemed to satisfy him, and he told me to be safe; but not before he checked my driver’s license. Seein’s how he was a peace officer I reckon that was the right thing to say. But, alongside Hiaasen there was also Ellen Goodman, and Al Burt. And then there was the inimitable Molly Ivans. Wow.

I just stepped out to bathe in the morning darkness. Morning reading time has, through the years, also come to include writing time. Whatever. Right? Writing time is about over  as well. Workday. Today I am inclined not toward the intellectual side of life, rather more toward the Divine Feminine. Love and nurture and all that good stuff. It makes for a good start to the day, right? Right.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Laughter Over Anxiety


“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

“True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” ~ Erich Segal

“Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.”  ~ Rita Mae Brown

“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.” ~ James Joyce

Yesterday it was a magical Full Moon fog. Two hours of the stuff. That sort of natural phenomenon tends to blow away words to the point where description becomes a pretty futile endeavor. The day before, the danged internet was down, so I couldn’t write if I wanted to. Which I did. This morning, I have some digestive issues to deal with today, to remedy the yuck I feel inside. That means going into Taos to do some shopping (eat better, friggin nitwit!). That’s my day. I’ll have to find something else to watch as I rest and stay still this afternoon, because I watched the Scooby Doo live-action movie yesterday. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. The guy who plays Shaggy absolutely nailed it! Funny stuff. Hey, maybe some scary stuff? Yeh, it’s possible, but I might be smarter to choose laughter over anxiety, ya think?! Yeh, me too.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Magic of the Morning


“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

“It’s a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research & study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other.”  ~ Aldous Huxley

“It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.”  ~ Charles de Lint

It never occurred to me that it would still be out there when I went to take the trash out. There was thick fog when I went out to see the sunrise. It was still there an hour later. Now, after yet another hour it is still foggy. When I first went out my jaw literally dropped at the sight of the fog. Then I turned my head to see the Moon sitting just above the hill, with rings of orange, blue, and silver. Stunning, breathtaking, magical stuff. Some Celtic lore says that it is in the mist that the Spirit world and the material world intermingle at their closest. It is also the Full Moon. I don’t have to expect magic, it is already here. Tis a lovely day, right out of the gate. Magic is good.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Far Longer Than 40 Years


“Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties — all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name’s Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion — these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.” ~ David Foster Wallace

“Lonely people tend, rather, to be lonely because they decline to bear the psychic costs of being around other humans. They are allergic to people. People affect them too strongly.” ~ David Foster Wallace

So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.” ~ Rainer Maria Wilke

A whole lotta stretching and yawning going on this morning. Weariness. Exasperation. True yet mild alarm at the question of what the president is going to do if his minions lose a significant number of House, and maybe Senate, seats. He can at this point simply declare that “violent mob rule” by Democrats will not be allowed. He already calls peaceful protests “violent mob rule”. What could go wrong, right? But enough of that. Just hold onto your hats for the next two weeks. If you don’t have a hat, borrow one. Just sayin’.

Today is a workday after two days off in a row. I’ve gotten a healthy amount of rest/sleep throughout, but I had to allow for a change in sleep patterns to make it so. This change I mention is natural, I didn’t find it or justification for it in a book. What I am finding is that allotted ‘acceptable’ chunks of sleep are not working for me at this point and place in time. Case in point: I catnapped through yesterday afternoon, on into evening. Star Trek Next Gen playing via Netflix. Or the new Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House”. I’ve not seen these episodes so I gotta go back and watch them while awake. Star Trek, though? Not so much. No need to go back. I’ve seen most episodes before. Besides, it’s a palliative. The Netflix series is absorbing . . . and it easily and rightly qualifies as, for, whatever, research for my novel. The word “easy” seems not to apply to any part of writing a novel. And one endeavor in the novel is to portray the ‘dark side’ of the paranormal in a compassionate and nonjudgmental way. Like, what if you accuse a ghost of being a lost soul trapped in the past, yet the poor spirit is simply doing her job. Don’t pull that ‘lost soul’ shit on me while I am at work, at my day job, k? I struggled for 40 years to get over that. I ain’t havin’ it. Now, some of these ghosties have been at it for far longer than 40 years. Just sayin’.

Well, this pained novelist has gotta git his assets on to work. Oh, gee Wally, does that mean I have to go into town? Yes it does, Beav, yes it does. There I go . . .

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Land of Light and Shadow


“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.”  ~ Virginia Woolf

“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself. It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.”  ~ Harper Lee

The season is coming in slow, a slow-burn dramatic entry that feels good, it feels right; whole patterns of light and shadow, caressing the west slopes of the mountains. This is the land of light and shadow; where they dance, where they kindle dreams. Never forget that. Once you’ve been assimilated by the exceptional magick of this place there is no out. I mean, you can up and go, east or west; once you are in it you are in it for good. Here and now it is about 100 minutes before sunrise, but who’s counting, right? The coffee was too weak, but it is almost gone. I can make some more and do it right this time. I don’t know who . . .  listen, it’s just me and the cat here, and she doesn’t have opposable thumbs. I confess. I was still half asleep. In fact I was so far half asleep that I didn’t even know which half it was. At the moment I think I’m dreaming. There are no more options in my tool box. I’ll have to work with what I have to work with. A couple of minor needs await me this day. They require a trip into Taos. Dang, I was hoping . . . oh, never mind. Gotta be done. Call them chores and get it over with. And all this while immersed in the writer continuum. I don’t know how this happened, but I’ve been entangled in this continuum for days, if not weeks now. One sure sign is that I have been finding myself frequently stroking my chin, sometimes while standing in spontaneous contemplation, gazing at something that likely is not even on most people’s subliminal radar; never mind their conscious attention. Like “look at the colorful expression from those trees. No, wait, I just had a text arrive on my iPhone!”. I don’t text or tweet, BTW. Luddite Neanderthal, whatever. I rarely get phone calls. My smart phone is mostly used to monitor the thrum of the 24/7 news cycle and lately I’ve been all WTF over the whole affair. It looks certain by now that the president is fixin to blow any minute. Who was it, Popeye? Was it him who had jets of steam blowin’ out his ears when he got riled? Whatever; it’s like that with the president. It won’t be pretty, but it will be good for your breathing. But I can’t be bothered today. In fact, I might just treat myself to breakfast out. One thing about turning 64 is that that simply living seems more and more like the way to go. Note that I chose the word ‘simply’ and not ‘simple’. Oh what a difference a ‘Y’ makes. For now, it is time to rouse the Hermit and get with it. Onward . . .

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Yesterday’s Powers


“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” ~ Tupac Shakur

“I had turned away from the picture and was going back to the world where events move, men change, light flickers, life flows in a clear stream, no matter whether over mud or over stones.”  ~ Joseph Conrad

Yesterday’s post was an odd mix. In going back to it I found that it had a kind of life and death theme to it. Not intentional, but that is my prominent field of study as a writer. There’s more, of course, but life and death and afterlife are . . . I’m not sure I know where I was going with that. However, I just want to underscore that the ghostly telephone call really happened. No true explanation besides to explain that such things just don’t happen, but they do anyway. I’ve been feeling the presence of spirits more clearly since it happened, which I think was perhaps the only even remotely ascertainable lesson. I’ve been working for about nine months to release the psychic faculties I suppressed after my NDE. It was too disturbing at the time. Now I want it back. Seems meant to be, because the ‘powers’ are indeed resurfacing. I don’t know where it will lead, nor do I want to know. Best leave intellect out of it.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Call From the Afterlife



“Maybe all the people who say ghosts don’t exist are just afraid to admit that they do.”  Michael Ende

“He could not shake the feeling – reportedly common among ghosts – that it was not he but those he haunted whose lives were devoid of matter, sense, future.”  ~ Michael Chabon

“Psychoanalysis is often about turning our ghosts into ancestors, even for patients who have not lost loved ones to death. We are often haunted by important relationships from the past that influence us unconsciously in the present. As we work them through, they go from haunting us to becoming simply part of our history.”  ~ Norman Doidge

Perhaps it’s the time of year. I find myself a tad haunted by ghosts; at least two. Not haunted, not really. We assume that if it is a ghost it is obviously gonna haunt stuff, or folks. I don’t agree. That would be like spirits from the Other Side assuming that just because we are living human beings we are looking at our smartphone. I don’t intend to make analogous implications here. But here’s the thing. You see so many people, these days, gazing at their devices. You have a physical presence and location, you have a living biological being before you; be it gamer or codependent, schemer or player, the spooky part of it is that for all their physical presence they are not there. Their head is elsewhere. And they can’t get enough. Ten minutes into their work shift and they are like all jittery that they may have a text waiting. Or a Twitter. They may not even leave their movies at home. That one I can’t figure out at all. Last weekend I saw the new biopic about Neil Armstrong. I saw it on the big screen, like ya know popcorn and all that good stuff. Great movie BTW! Some of the flight sequences in the film are terrifying. Good effects, and good special effects as well. Clever, right? I do so love playing with words, and with the ways with which we hang those words on old frameworks in our hearts and minds. Change your language and change your life. Soooo . . . anyway . . . I was talking about taking your movie wherever ya go. I mean who doesn’t enjoy a little Adam Sandler at lunch hour? That was intended as irony, BTW. Whatever. Let’s put it this way. I don’t care for Adam Sandler at all. Jim Carrey, however, has done a few good films. But if you put the two in the same movie it would be me being carried out in a straight jacket, not them. Just sayin’.

There’s a wave of the paranormal washing into my life these days. Yesterday I got a telephone call, at 6 AM. I was in the other room, and by the time I got to the phone and answered it the party at the other end hung up. But their name was on the screen when I answered. I decide not to call them back unless they left a message on my voice mail. I’m like that. Also, I rarely gets calls. Details aside, it ended up that my friend had not dialed my number after all. Their phone did it. The security code has not been entered, the phone was locked, so no call could have been dialed. But it was dialed. My friend has my number on their contact list, but they have never actually called me before. They woke up yesterday morning at 6 AM to find that their phone had decided to drop me a howdy. My therapist suggested that it was my mom calling to wish me a happy birthday. This makes sense. Mom knows me well enough that she would not call directly because she knows that I won’t answer if I do not know who’s calling. And if my device screen says incoming call from the Afterlife . . . well, I’m gonna freak right out. This story is true. Yeh, it mildly freaks me out anyway. There was more to it, but that is not for now. We are less than two weeks away from Samhain, when the Veil is thinnest. There will be more stuff happening. I can feel it. Yeh, I’d rather have that haunting feeling from a romantic interest, but that seems not to be in the cards right now. But she still has time to take me there. That’s life: we’ve never spoken nor texted over the phone.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.